Jadranka and Andy Tomlinson wrote Hard Times, the English version of Mižerja, Croatia’s entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Here, we speak to Andy to find out a little about the two authors.
Was it a hard job to translate – or, better, adapt – the lyrics for Mižerja?
We made it hard on ourselves by insisting that we do a good job. We wanted a translation that wasn’t just faithful to the basic meaning of each line of lyrics, but also just as easy to sing, and just as pleasant on the ear, as the Croatian original. Goran Topolovac had written an enchanting song, and we wanted to do it justice.
Are you satisfied?
We’re satisfied on many levels. Firstly, we’re very happy with the translation we’ve produced. Secondly, we’re gratified by the feedback it has got from the composer, thesingers and their maestro. There wasn’t even going to be an English version until they saw how good ours was! Thirdly, we’re delighted with the rendition of our version by the klapa. Finally, we’re proud that the English version has achieved a breakthrough in the popularity of the song abroad, thus boosting Croatia’s chances of doing well in the competition.
Did the guys sing it well? From 1 to 5, which grade would you give them for their pronunciation?
The guys sing both versions beautifully! Of course, their English pronunciation isn’t native-speaker standard, but they’ve done a good job of making the words clear and easy to understand. They responded well to the suggestions we made in the studio to improve their pronunciation. Jadranka gives them 5, but Andy is an English teacher with high standards, so his mark is 4!
Klapa s Mora will perform Mižerja in the first semi-final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest on 14 May.
Interview courtesy of Hrvatska Radiotelevizija (HRT).